THE DEFEAT OF GOD* A TANK was waddling slowly across No Man's Land, when it suddenly paused on the lip of a shell-hole, and swerved to the right. The stretcher-bearer returned to his charge shuddering, and then re-commenced the long trek to the dressing-station, half a mile away. Rhys Hughes was no coward, nay, he was the friend of every man in the Ambulance, but this morning he was "distrait." Thoughts of home, and the work of his life kept recurring, and his quiet faith was reeling under a hundred heavy blows. He wondered whether the Sas- siwn or the Set Fawr would ever understand what he and his chums had been through, wondered too whether they would ever make allowances. Whiz — Bang They were in the mud again, and then with a groan, and a stifled Thank you his charge died in his arms. Oh d- this war What was that ? Another cry, and Rhys had found another patient. Curious how he kept thinking of the Corph," and the work in Wales; strange, too, that he began to see clearly where all before was a blaze and a blur. He had been very uncertain about some things, but, all through, his soul was fixed on the Lord of Service, and Rhys knew something of risk and sacrifice. He wasn't sure what his theology was, but his experience was very definite-" Who loved me, and who gave Himself for me Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." At any rate, he believed that, and he'd done it, as far as he was concerned, a hun- dred times. The great day had come Rhys was to be ordained There was something queer in his demeanour, a hint of a big battle fought and won, a suggestion of recent Gethsemanes. But he was happy. He had dreamed of this for years, and at last his dream was coming true. Suddenly his name was called, and he stood on his feet. FIVE YEARS AGO. (Ploegsteert, 1915.) I look across the Channel in the haze, And muse upon the lanes of Somerset, The hedges there and here are very wet, And wet leaves fall upon the muddy bays So, seeing them, I think of winter days In woods and months I never shall forget- I feel the crash of eighteen-pounders yet, And see the Crosses by the slippery ways. Strangely I pine for these remembered things, The spade and shell-turned earth, the acrid smoke Of wet wood burning, and the troubled skies, The smell of bacon that the morning brings, The splintered branches of the shell-struck oak, The life of toil, of danger, of surprise. Clumber House, Newnham-on-Severn, Glos. By Emmaus." OSCAR LLOYD. Oh yes They were questioning him. Did anybody shout Stretcher-bearers at the double ? No No Everything was awfully confused. Then he saw and heard again, but his nerves were jagged edges. "What is your opinion-?" Something in the tone hurt Rhys. It was hard, in- quisatorial, and he felt at a loss again that cry, Stretcher- bearers at the double." What is your opinion concerning the Pauline doctrine of Atonement? Steady Rhys tried hard to pull himself together. He wasn't sure that he quite understood it, for the author- ities to which he had been directed were often at logger heads. Oh, well. There was only one thing to do, and that was to say so, he was in the house of friends. There followed a question arising out of," and Rhys and his inquisitor were seas apart. It was all very unfortunate, and they both developed an amazing knack of misunder- standing each other. Then the roof fell in on top of him. Someone else had intervened. Another asked a question. A third followed with a harangue, a hopeless, hard slamming of the door. His very worth as a man, something that cut deeper than the curse on his brain, was in question. There was no one to help, no one to offer a way out, or to ease the situation. Again that cry Stretcher-bearers at the double." It grew louder, more incessant, but Rhys was hit, and by his own artillery, too. He went out, and it was night, but in the comforting darkness he met again the Comrade in White Who dwells not in the light alone." And God said Let there be light.' But the am- bassadors, and the Consul-Generals, and the diplomatic service in Set Fawr and pulpit said, Not unless you use our globes." It was the defeat of God. The characters and situations are purely fictitious. SONED Rol treulio amser yn y ddrycin ddu, Ac aml ochneidio dan y greulon gwys, Heb weled ond y storm, a theimlo pwys Rhyw feichiau newydd a'u gofalon lu, Yn sydyn daeth y bythgofiadwy ddydd, Distawodd swn y storm a'i phoenus wae, Yn lie twrf magnel heddyw i'w glywed mae Dihafal gor yr adar yn y ffridd Ac er y diwrnod hwnnw newid ddaeth Ar wyneb popeth i fy meddwl i, Mae Natur fel yn newydd oll i mi, A rhyw gyfrinach arall yn ei gwaith. Ac i goroni'r cwbl gwelais Hi, A gwen yr haul ar ei dihalog rudd. J. D, P.
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